Johns Hopkins Is Developing Prosthetic Eyes

Photo via Second Sight
Photo via Second Sight

Johns Hopkins’s Applied Physics Lab is at the cutting edge when it comes to developing prosthetic limbs for amputees. But the innovation doesn’t stop there: APL scientists are also working at building a prosthetic retina.

The prototype prosthesis kind of looks like a sunglasses version of Google Glass, but it’s actually far more sophisticated. In partnership with a California company that’s already producing bionic eyes, APL will develop glasses with eye-tracking sensors:

Using these sensors and onboard hardware, the system will identify potential obstacles, doorways, hallways, and household objects and their relative positions. This information will be distilled into a format that can be projected into the retinal prosthesis, bypassing the damaged rods and cones in the retina.

As with the thought-controlled prosthetic limb, the retinal prosthesis will combine cutting-edge computer sensors with technology¬†that allows the user to manipulate the prosthesis as seamlessly as possible, creating synergy between the computer’s systems and the human body’s systems. I know: crazy. And awesome, too.